Another pleasant late winter's day at the Brook for Round 5 of the Marblehead Winter Series. Sailing conditions on the dam were far from ideal to say the least with frustratingly variable winds in both direction and strength from calm to B Rig at times, coming from the NNW through to the WSW, the calm periods resulting of the raising of the "AP flag" at times. With those wind conditions, setting a course was a challenge, but we ended up switching between two courses depending on the Brook's mood at the time. The course for the first couple of races with the wind coming form the dam wall direction was start between 1 and 2, tight reaching port start up to 3 for a close to windward leg out to the wing mark 9, run down to mark 1, a second lap with a shy reach down to the outside gate mark after the wing mark, then a shortish leg to finish between 1 and 2: definitely an around the bouys track. When the wind was in the more usual "down the dam" direction and more conducive to windward/leeward, the course was Course 2 in the Course Book, start between 1 and 2, windward leg up to 6 into 5, cross over run down to 4 and into 3, back up to 6 and 5 then run down to the gate and finish between 1 and 2.
Race 1 line honours went to John Hall, pipping yours truly for second with Ray Joyce ever competitive in third spot. Race 2 saw Peter Sylvester return from his winter escape to take the win from Ray in second place and John on the podium again in third place. Race 3 and a course change saw my only highlight of the day after rounding the last mark in 6th position, splitting from the fleet out to the west and hooking up with a timely westerly to take the win from Andrew Wardrop and John Hall in second and third respectively. Race 4 saw another win for John, a second for Wayne Behrens and a third for Ray. After the first drop, John led the fleet with 5 points, myself in second 8 points, Ray third with 8 points as well, Andrew fourth with11 points and Peter rounding out the top five with 13 points.
Wayne Behrens took the gun in Race 5 with myself second and Ray third. Peter sailed well again in Race 6 to take the gun from John Hall second and myself on the podium as well. Race 7 saw a win for Michael Hickman with Peter backing up his previous win with a second place and John Hall sailing consistently with another podium having only missed the podium in one of the previous races. Race 8 and Peter continued with his good form to take the win from John Hall and Ray Joyce. After the second drop, John Hall still led the fleet with 12 points, a handy 5 points ahead of second placed Peter Sylvester who leap frogged from fifth position after the first drop, with 17 points, Ray in third place with 18 points, myself in fourth on 19 points and Andrew Wardrop rounding out the five with 24 points.
Race 9 line honours went to Ray Joyce with Peter "on fire" in second place and the F3 of yours truly in third place. Race 10 saw a second win for Michael Hickman with Wayne Behrens in second place and Peter backing up his previous results with another podium in third spot. The final race for the day, Race 11 went to Peter with Michael second and Ray third.
Final results and a solid afternoon's performance saw overall victory go to Peter Sylvester with 23 points from second placed John Hall just 1 point in arrears and third place going to Ray Joyce with 27 points.
Next Sunday is Father's Day and there is no official racing. This coming Wednesday, racing is for both IOM's (usual handicap series) and DF95's (scratch series). The following Sunday is the final round of the IOM Winter Series with racing from 11:00 AM.
Till then, wet sails.
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